AIFF High School Winners of the 2016

Lights, Camera, Action

Winners of the Student Filmmakers

Competition 2016

Arlington, MA — The Arlington International Film Festival (AIFF) is proud to announce the High School Student Award Winners of the 6th annual Festival that will be held at the Capitol Theatre, October 27-30. The awarded shorts were chosen by a jury that reviewed the 85 film submissions that competed in the categories of narrative, documentary, animation and experimental.

This year’s festival will feature great films produced by talented High School filmmakers from Massachusetts, New York, California, South Africa, Italy, Iran, Russia, and Canada. AIFF is thrilled to share with you the winners of the 2016 Arlington International Film Festival Competition and Official Selections.

Best of Festival: ”Attached At The Soul”

A film about the bond between two kind souls of different backgrounds. It begins when they first met, charts their meaningful journey, and ends with their departure from this world, together. The film promotes friendship, diversity, equal rights, compassion, love and acceptance.     Director - William Leon

Best Documentary: Todo tiene su tiempo”/”Everything Has Its Time”

A woman opens up about her struggles and how her hard work manifested into her life’s accomplishments. According to AIFF Judge, Michael Mahin, "Todo tiene su tiempo" has been chosen as Best Doc for its simplicity, its technical efficiency, and its pertinent message. “In an age of growing anti-immigrant sentiment, the film acts as an important reminder that these are people, families, human beings who we are discussing. Without pretension or artifice, "Todo tiene su tiempo" explores what it means to make a new home in a new place with those closest to us.”     Director - Marlyss Merida

Best Narrative: Teach Me Fish

A lonely boy obsessed with geology gets more than he asks for when he goes out on one of his daily rock hunts. Kevin Wetmore, AIFF Judge, speaks about the film; “It tells a cohesive visual story and is also very funny and likable. All of the performances work well, especially that of the alien visitor. The sound production, sound editing, and music choices all work wonderfully. The cinematography is also a highlight. All the shots seem carefully composed and there is a consistent style throughout the film. Overall this film is an accomplishment to be proud of, and the filmmakers should not hesitate to create new work.”     Director - Asa Minter

Best Experimental: “I Don’t Need U”

A girl who grew up without her father writes a letter about her deepest and most sincere feelings about him. "With simple but elegant camerawork and effective voice-over narration, 'I Don't Need U' subtly but powerfully underscores the primordial bond between parent and child - and the pain that can be caused by the absence of this bond," said Michael Mahin.     Director - Alyssa Peguero

Additional highlights of this year’s festival screenings:

A Way Out (3 min)

Ayanna Marte, Director | Experimental | 2015 | Massachusetts

The way dance makes your heart go boom, boom, boom.

Breath (3 min)

Sara Test, Director | Experimental | 2015 | Massachusetts & Group POV Massachusetts

Drowning in the stress of a busy life, a girl remembers the beauty of her experiences to keep herself above water in this visual poem.

Colour (2 min)

Taryn Birkett, Director | Experimental | 2015 | Canada

Self-portrait of a young woman of mixed race.

Dancing Machine (3 min)

Linwood Giles III, Director | Experimental | 2016 | Massachusetts

A dancer tells his story through motion against the background of Boston.

Electric Love (3 min)

Isaac Eliot, Megan Faretta, Micah Richardson, Ethan Crain and Akai Fitzpatrick, Directors | Experimental | 2016 | Massachusetts

A man has a great relationship with his IPhone. What happens when he gets too close?

Fruition to Frustration (2 min)

Angaer Arop, Director | Experimental | 2015 | Canada

Self-exploration of color expressed poetically.

The Great Robbing of Randall Cobb (15 min)

Lorenzo Rugerio, Director | Narrative | 2016 | Massachusetts

Two high schoolers attempt to rob the school teacher's pet when they discover he's selling illegal substances. However, like all great heists, it does not go as planned...

Livin the Lies (11 min)

Annmarie Soba, Director | Narrative | 2015 | Maysles Doc Center NY

An unflinching portrait of a conflicted Jamaican teenager struggling to be true to himself.

Magical (8 min)

Jack Kelly, Liam Mulcahy, Lizzy Embick, Alayna D'Amico, Taryn Osborne, Directors | Narrative | 2015 | Canada

When Will can't seem to get a girlfriend, his fairy godmother decides to help. Sure enough, wacky hijinks follow. But, when push comes to shove, can Will manage to win the heart of Anna while keeping his friendship with his fairy godmother intact? 

Park Bench (3 min)

Thaisha Belis, Jack Eliot, Beatrice Jackson, Danajae Jones, Paul Vekiarides and Johnathan Yannis, Directors | Experimental | 2016 | Massachusetts

A man with a special gift finds a piece of himself in one the strangest places.

The Tree of Me (2 min)

Elee Stalker, Director | Experimental | 2015 | Canada

Self-portrait expressed metaphorically.

AIFF is pleased to feature a film from this year’s Harvard College Film Festival that will be screened at the Student Filmmaker’s Program, The Flag by American director Tyler Parker. Best Documentary
Best Direction (Documentary) -  Best Editing (Documentary) - Best Sound Editing (Documentary)


In the summer of 2015, a gunman killed nine black parishioners in a Bible study at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, blowing open the doors to conversations of race, rage, and reconciliation across the state. The Flag, made during the director's junior year of undergraduate studies, documents those conversations under the shadow of the Confederate Flag flying high in front of the South Carolina State Capitol Building in Columbia, SC.

The Arlington International Film Festival would like to thank the Judges for jurying this year’s High School Filmmakers Competition. They are Michael Mahin (Writer, Film Critic, and Marketing Coordinator for special events at the Arlington Center for the Arts), Kevin Wetmore (Filmmaker & Youth Coordinator at ACMi), Jonathan Barbato (Production Manager at ACMi), and Naythen Lowe (Editor and creator of the DIYDS).  

On behalf of the Organizers and Judges of AIFF, we congratulate all those who submitted their films this year. The Judges were incredibly impressed with the breadth and diversity of material submitted. Each film combined technical excellence with a strong sense of place and character and each filmmaker should be proud of the film they submitted. We encourage you to keep on making films!

Partners: ACMi, Kumon, Glidecam Industries, Inc, WGBH, CyberLink, CineSend,, MB

The Arlington International Film Festival’s mission is to foster appreciation for different cultures by exploring the lives of people around the globe through independent film - and to nurture the next generation of filmmakers. We screen narrative and documentary features and shorts, plus a special category of short films by High School Student Filmmakers. Panel discussions and/or Q&A’s follow many special screenings, offering provocative conversations with filmmakers/producers, academics, and the business community. 

Arlington International Film Festival

October 27-30 | Capitol Theatre | Arlington MA